Monday, 31 August 2009

POST # 167 Jim Hall on His Legato Technique

My legato phrasing is a result of Jimmy Giuffre wanting me to get a slurring sound so I wouldn’t interrupt the flow of the lines he’d write. - Jim Hall

( Jim Hall plays with Jimmy Giuffre in this vid. - Ed)

Sunday, 30 August 2009

POST # 166 Jim Hall on Guitar Playing

Ths instruments keeps me humble. Sometimes when I pick it up it seems to say. “No, you can’t play today.” I keep at it anyway. I don’t really play fast – speed has never come easily for me. Little by little I pared down my playing to suit my personality. – Jim Hall

( Rare guitar duo clip of Jim Hall playing with Barney Kessel! Thank you Youtube! Nothing too flashy but what wonderful interplay and music! - Ed)

Saturday, 29 August 2009

POST # 165 Keith Richards on Mick Taylor

“Mick Taylor’s a really shy guy. I wouldn’t say that you ever get to know him. I don’t think anybody does. But probably the closest I ever got to Mick was playing guitar on Exile on Main St.” - Keith Richards

( Exile, one of my favourates, clip of Mick Taylor with the Stones in the 70's plus one of my other favourate Stones songs of all time with Mick Taylor, although I always thought the ending was bit too Santana-ish, but still good! - Ed)

Friday, 28 August 2009

POST # 164 Richard Thompson on Music

“On a good night you just play and explore. That’s what music is—exploring.”—Richard Thompson

( Go on a musical exploration with Richard Thompson ! - Ed)

Thursday, 27 August 2009

POST # 163 Guitar Eureka's First Gear Review!

Ok I don't normally post gear reviews/news etc but I just recently acquired this guitar and thought I'd do a quick review.


Serial Number starts with "D" denoting its a 2004 model, must be right before the Gibson Lawsuit because soon after the SOAPBAR II came out with the double cutaways.


1. PICKUPS, P 90s great bluesy sound, very musical both the bridge and neck, the in-between sound is fantastic too.

2. NECK, vintage fatter style, comfortable.

3. FINISH and WORKMANSHIP: Excellent

4. PLABILITY / SETUP: Excellent

5. STRAP BUTTONS : Nice and Big and WIDE

6. BODY CONTOURS : At back of guitar, comfy.

7. GIG BAG : Well padded better then average and practical with big pockets.

8. PRICE: Good Value


1. TONE CONTROL : No effect until you get to '3' then there is a noticeable roll off
2. BRIDGE : Can't adjust intonation
3. TONE/VOLUME : Extra set for each pickup would be nice
4. NECK : Gloss finish, would prefer natural finish to play faster especially considering its a fatter neck.
5. NUT : Little bit too protruding for me on top E string when playing open position chords.
6. WEIGHT : Little bit on the heavy side for an all mahogany guitar.

OVERALL : Despite a few minor gripes I am loving this guitar. Always love P90's and this have a very raw but musical sound. Its like a wild animal thats just barely been contained! I think it's a love it or hate it sound and if you are looking for something unique you might want to check it out. It's got mojo for days. Great for my playing which is usually clean or just bit overdriven. Its a keeper for sure plus they are relatively inexpensive.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

POST # 162 George Fullerton on Telecaster Necks

"That Telecaster peg head was very small, and people used to make fun of it—‘Looks like a bare foot,’ and so on—but there was a reason for doing that. Supplies were scarce in those days. We used to buy maple wood, and a lot of pieces were fairly narrow, so we designed a way we could get two [necks] out of it by having one end one way and the other end the other way. That wouldn’t work with the wider Strat peg head, so we had to spend more money on it.” - George Fullerton

( No one's laughing at the Telecaster now especially if you have one of the originals! Larry Dimarzio gives you a guided tour of his 51 Telecaster. - Ed)

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

POST # 161 Mike Stern on Playing Fast

Playing fast is more a mental thing than anything else, Jim Hall doesn’t have insane chops, but he can play absolutely amazing music over incredibly fast tempos. Before you can play fast, you’ve got to be able to hear fast.” - Mike Stern

(Mike Stern here playing in Miles Davis' band in the 80's - Ed)

Monday, 24 August 2009

POST # 160 Pat Metheny on Mick Goodrick

"Mick Goodrick was the first guitarist I ever played with who made me feel ridiculous." – Pat Metheny

( The two teams up here on a Bossa number. - Ed )

Sunday, 23 August 2009

POST # 159 Carlos Santana on Individuality

"The point of music is to tell stories with a melody. All that stuff about playing notes, to me, is just like watching some cat pick up weights. After a while who wants to see somebody flex their muscles? There are thousands of guitar players out there, but really only about 30 you can listen to and tell instantly who they are. It took me a while to realize that having your own individuality Is a very beautiful gift – even if you only know three notes." – Carlos Santana

( Carlos gets a great sound and feel from his SG with P-90's at Woodstock. - Ed )

Saturday, 22 August 2009

POST # 158 Jimi Hendrix and Guitar

"Sometimes you want to give up the guitar, you'll hate the guitar. But if you stick with it, you're gonna be rewarded."

"The time I burned my guitar it was like a sacrifice. You sacrifice the things you love. I love my guitar." - Jimi Hendrix

( Hendrix getting some feedbacks before torching his guitar, I always found feedbacks interesting its the musical equivalent of pure emotion where pure sound trascends notes or music...or like Trane making atonal sounds on his sax. - Ed)

Friday, 21 August 2009

POST # 157 Johnny Smith on Vertical Voicing on Guitar

"I’m influenced by the way piano players voice chords and by vertically spaced harmony. This means a chord is voiced with the melody note on the top; each subsequent chord tone is written directly below. This results in very close harmony. Vertical voicings on guitar require large stretches. For example, here’s a vertical C6chord. Most guitarists play with a dropped tone, but I play vertical voicings because that’s the way I hear them—they sound natural to my ear. Vertical chord voicings are very common and basic to piano, but not to guitar. That’s why my sound is easily identifiable. It’s always been easy for me to reach vertical chords. But since I lost a small part of my left 3rd fingertip around 1963—it got caught in an airplane seat—these chords have been more difficult. Luckily, a doctor was able to graft a chunk of skin from my palm onto the fingertip. The finger is a little shorter than it was, but I’m fortunate I can use it at all." - Johnny Smith

( Johnny Smith plays his trademark vertical voicings in Moonlight in Vermont followed by a beautiful solo and harp harmonics to boot! Losing his fingertip in an airplane seat, ouch! - Ed)

Thursday, 20 August 2009

POST # 156 Leo Fender on Electric Guitar Design

“The design of each element should be thought out in order to be easy to make and easy to repair.”

"If something is easy to repair, it is easy to construct.”

"I was always able to see the defects in the design of an instrument which overlooked completely the need of its maintenance.” - Leo Fender

( Fender, The "Leonardo" da Vinci of Solid Body Electric Guitar design! Take a Tour of the Factory. - Ed)

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

POST # 155 Bill Frisell on Music Innovators

"I hate to say it, but music’s greatest innovators weren’t guitar players. Think about it, Miles Davis often didn’t even have a guitar in his groups, but the way they functioned was revolutionary. The way the drums, bass, and piano all reacted with each other— that’s what I get excited about.” - Bill Frisell

(Some beautiful solo guitar work from Bill Frisell with a few intelligent use of electric guitar effects. - Ed)

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

POST # 154 Eric Clapton on his solo on Cream's Strange Brew

" Felix [Pappalardi] turned it [Strange Brew] into a [Paul] McCartney-esque pop song...That was like an unspoken deal: if I gave in and played on this pop song, I could play an Albert King guitar solo.” - Eric Clapton

( Why is it all we guitarist care about is the guitar solo! (maybe coz we are guitarist???) Dig out Albert King's Oh Pretty Woman if you are curious to see where Clapton got his solos from. - Ed)

Monday, 17 August 2009

POST # 153 Jimi Hendrix on the Blues

"Blues is easy to play, but hard to feel. " - Jimi Hendrix

"See, that's nothing but blues, that's all I'm singing about. It's today's blues." - Jimi Hendrix

( Not only the first guitarist to fully explore the endless sonic possibilities of the electric guitar, Hendrix plays a mean blues guitar too on Red House - Ed )

Sunday, 16 August 2009

POST # 152 Wes Montgomery on his Thumb Technique

"...this till I get ready to play out, and then I'll get me a pick. Well, that wasn't easy either because I found out that I had developed the thumb for playing so that when I got ready to work my first job I picked up a pick and I think I must have lost about fifteen of them! I just didn't realise that I had to develop my pick technique, too. So I said 'later' for the pick. I was just playing for my own amusement so it was great. See, I couldn't hear the difference in the sound as it is today, so I figured OK, I'll just use my thumb. Probably a thousand cats are using their thumbs - only they're not in Indianapolis! The more I learnt about it, I found out that less guys were using their thumbs and I began to get a little frightened!" - Wes Montgomery

( Handy when you don't have a pick or never have to worry about losing one. - Ed)

Saturday, 15 August 2009

LES PAUL 1915-2009

POST # 151 Charlie Parker on Music

"...your ideas change as you grow older. Most people fail to realize that most of the things they hear coming out of a man's horn, ad lib, or else things that are written, original things, they're just experiences, the way he feels -- the beauty of the weather, the nice look of a mountain, or maybe a nice fresh cool breath of air, I mean all those things. You can never tell what you'll be thinking tomorrow. But I can definitely say that the music won't stop, you keep going forward." - Charlie Parker

( The sad passing of Charlie Parker - Ed)

Friday, 14 August 2009

POST # 150 Dumble on Dumble Amps

"There are hundreds, perhaps thousands or millions of valid guitar tones.” —Howard Dumble

( I think Ford and Carlton are playing Dumbles here? - Ed)

Thursday, 13 August 2009

POST # 149 Mike McCready on his solo from Alive

“Basically, I copied Ace Frehley’s solo from ‘She,’ Which, of course, was copied from Robby Krieger’s solo in the Doors’ ‘Five to One. " - Mike McCready

( Can you hear the similarities? - Ed)

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

POST # 148 Jimmy Herring on his Style.

I know. I thought the same thing. When it comes to Billy, Alphonso and T. - those guys are largely responsible for the way I play. They influenced me tremendously early on. All three of them in their different situations - Alphonso with Weather Report, Billy with Mahavishnu, T. with the Dregs and all of their solo albums. I was also coming right off of being really Hamp-notized, you know what I mean? After working with Hampton who said, "Okay, you know all of this 'respect' music now so drop that crap and play." That was where he was coming from. He'd rather hear you play garbage than to just regenerate the same thing you've been playing for the past ten years. When I joined Jazz Is Dead, I was trying to behave myself in the beginning and not go too "out" because I thought those guys might think I was insane.

It was unbelievable, man. I never could fit into a real country band because my style leaned too much towards jazz and rock. If I got into a jazz group I was too country and for a blues group I played too many notes. So I never fit into any "normal" category and then when I got with Bruce, it was exactly what he was looking for. I'd finally found a place I could fit into. He didn't really tell us what to do, he just offered us a palette for it.
He'd say, "I don't care if you play on one string or if you're playing on the floor, but if you are sayin' something, play as long as you want. You don't even need a guitar, just get a broom. As long as you're sayin' something." So needless to say, sometimes we'd play too long and not really say anything but we were trying (laughs) and he offered us that medium. - Jimmy Herring

( Jimmy talks about one of his approaches. - Ed)

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

POST # 147 Ted Dunbar on Wes Montgomery and Practice

When I first met Wes we talked about playing with the thumb, and he said, "Control is a bitch, ain't it?" He told me to practice with my amp because the guitar and the amp are one instrument. That made so much sense. He perfectly understood how his thumb worked, and he treated it like a science. He also talked about phrasing, saying, "You have to phrase everything you play. No note should be wasted; everything inside a statement should be economical and to the point. The phrasing should have a feeling on it." He was that specific. He understood music with only his ears. Buddy and Monk also had that kind of talent. - Ted Dunbar

( Few player gets so much out of an electric guitar as Wes does and he didn't even use any effects! Although once in a while he'd kick in a Fender vibrato/tremelo effect for ballads. Love the quote about phrasing. - Ed)

Monday, 10 August 2009

POST # 146 Martin Taylor on Teaching Guitar

Yeah, you can learn to play it note for note, but that's superficial. There's more to it. I don't want to teach, "First you do this, then you do that," but "Why did I play it like that? What brought me to that? What am I trying to do? What emotions am I trying to get across?", because I've see myself as a storyteller when I play. It's all storytelling and things that you can do harmonically and rhythmically to create emotions in people, in the listener. There are actually kind of devices that you learn that you can do with key changes that you can suddenly...It's like suddenly a cloud goes away and the sun comes out and you learn how to do things like that musically and harmonically.

It's completely different. If anybody says to me, "Show me how to play your arrangement of 'I've Got Rhythm'," I'll just say, "No. Get a video. Get the DVD and see it. You can play the guitar. You can learn it from there." But why did I do it? What's the thought behind it? What am I trying to convey and how am I doing that? And then take that and do what you do. - Martin Taylor

( Give a man a fish.... - Ed)

Sunday, 9 August 2009

POST # 145 Angus Young on the origin of Highway to Hell

Then just because you call an albumn Highway to Hell you get all kinds of grief. And all we’d done is describe what it’s like to be on the road for four years, like we’d been. A lot of it was bus and car touring, with no real break. You crawl off the bus at four o’colock in the morning, and some journalist’s doing a story and he says, “What would you call and AC/DC tour?” Well, it was a highway to hell. It really was. When you’re sleeping with the singer’s socks two inchese from your nose, that’s pretty close to hell. - Angus Young

( Here I am thinking it is a cheeky reply to Stairway to Heaven all these time :P - Ed)

Saturday, 8 August 2009

POST # 144 Jim Hall on Keeping Solos Fresh

To keep a solo sounding like it was just invented, I try to make myself ignorant and go only by sound and feeling. When things are going right, it feels like the music is happening because you finally got out of the way. – Jim Hall

( Jim Hall doing a nice version of I'm Getting Sentimental Over You - Ed )

Friday, 7 August 2009

POST # 143 Howard Roberts on Practicing Without the Guitar

“I recommend practicing without the guitar. This way, muscular coordination problems are isolated from recall difficulties. Many people confuse the two. They practice for hours, when what they should be doing is stopping to think where they’re going on the fretboard and what they’re going to do there.” - Howard Roberts

( Joe Pass said something similar about its not how fast you can play, but how fast you can think. - Ed)

Thursday, 6 August 2009

POST # 142 Buddy Guy on The Record Business

I don’t know if I can answer that. You know, when they put a Robert Johnson CD out a few years ago, it went gold—and he had been dead 40 years. B.B. King told me the record he did with Clapton, Riding with the King, was the biggest-selling record he has ever made. But let’s be honest— when you’re black, it doesn’t matter how good a blues record you make, you’re not going to get it played on these big radio stations unless some super guy like Eric Clapton or Stevie Ray Vaughan plays the same thing you played. That’s just the way it is. Blues has been like that ever since I’ve been alive—it has been ignored until some rock group gets it, plays it to big audiences, and tells them whose music it is. But, I guess that’s why we still sing the blues. I just look at it like a prizefighter— if I don’t get in that ring and risk getting knocked out, I ain’t got a chance to win.

It makes me feel great, because some of the things that people like Eric Clapton and Keith Richards and the late Stevie Ray Vaughan said about me have helped me more than any record company. So many kids come up to me and say, “I didn’t know anything about you until I read what Eric Clapton said.” That gives me a big lift. - Buddy Guy

( The whole Buddy Guy segment is my favourate on the Shine a Light doco/live film, what a performance ! - Ed )

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

POST # 141 Jimmy Herring on Jeff Beck

Exactly. Top of the list. Wired really changed my life and Blow By Blow I loved that, but Wired was the one. I had a lot to play with on that album because I could try to figure out (keyboardist) Jan Hammer's stuff too. Which I couldn't do, you know, but I tried. (Laughs) I got some of it - he was mind-blowin'. - Jimmy Herring

( Beck and Hammer trading licks on Blue Wind. - Ed )

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

POST # 140 Jim Hall on Wes Montgomery and his Humorous Side

Jim Hall particularly recalls Wes' humorous side: "After mentioning that I practiced a lot whenever I was playing with [saxophonist] Sonny Rollins, Wes said, 'I never practice; I just open the case and throw in a piece of meat.' The implication being that the guitar is a beast in the case. One time he was playing at the Monterey Jazz Festival and didn't have an amp, so I volunteered to go to a local shop and pick one up. When he saw the size of this huge thing, he said, 'Man, I ain't going to play that much guitar!' - Jim Hall

( I think Wes' humourous side really comes through his playing as well, he's always a picture of contentment and enjoyment whenever he plays even when he's pulling off impressive licks on the guitar! - Ed )

Monday, 3 August 2009

POST # 139 Miles Davis on 'Being comfortable'.

You should never be comfortable, man. Being comfortable fouled up a lot of musicians. - Miles Davis

( The ever fascinating Miles pushing the envelop once again at the Isle of Wight Festival in 1970. - Ed)

Sunday, 2 August 2009

POST # 138 Martin Taylor on How he got started in the Music Business

Yeah. And he didn't want to play, but he said, "Oh, my friend plays the guitar." She gives me a guitar and I sat down and played "Sweet Georgia Brown" or something. She said, "Well, come back on Saturday when my husband is here, because he's a big music fan."
So, I used to go there every Saturday. I was about eight years old. He used to put me in the window and put the amp outside. I'd sit in the window with a guitar, a little eight year old kid playing the guitar and the amp was out in the street and, of course, it would bring loads and loads of people in. That was really the beginning of me playing for people and I used to go and do little odd jobs in the store, cleaning the guitars, changing strings and all of this. - Martin Taylor

( The charm of the local independent music store! - Ed )

Saturday, 1 August 2009

POST # 137 Jimmy Herring on his Playing Style

"Oh, yeah. It was great, because I've never really fit into any one style. I couldn't play rock 'n' roll legitimately, because I was too influenced by jazz. I couldn't play jazz legitimately because I was too influenced by rock 'n' roll. I was in a country band for about seven months, and that almost killed me! Not because of the music as much as the guys I was playing with. It was a "Top-40" thing. But it was a good learning experience, and I wouldn't trade it for anything. I couldn't play any of those things legitimately because I was so influenced by all of them. To me it was all the same thing - music. I thought that was going to be a problem until I played with Bruce, because that's what he wanted to do. He called it American Roots Music. It was bluegrass, blues, funk and jazz. Those were the four primary elements. We had this mandolin player; this guy was as good as anybody. Matt Mundy -- he's probably the greatest bluegrass mandolin player ever." - Jimmy Herring

( I really like Jimmy's fusion style. Here he plays with Bruce Hampton. - Ed)

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